Anthony Herman's Journal
Written Mar 5, 2014 2:36pmAt times, it seems it was a lifetime ago.At others, it feels like yesterday.It has been just over two months since Anthony received his new heart. So much has happened in those two months, both good and bad. Our faith has been tested, our emotions flung to extremes, and our lives turned upside down. But we would go through it all again in a minute. One glimpse of our pink-cheeked, growing boy is enough to convince us of that.We aren't naive, though. We know we willingly exited one medical roller coaster just to board another. One we hope and pray will have fewer twists and turns than the last although no one can guarantee us that. But we travel hopefully, knowing the other coaster was swiftly running out of track. Sobering even to contemplate.But now here we are. Already two months on the other side of transplant. Two-thirds of the way back home. Despite the early struggles and the bouts of rejection, his new heart is still functioning beautifully, healing and strengthening his body in ways we never imagined--His spleen is smaller.His skin is softer.His limbs are thickening.His labs are normalizing.His appetite, weight, and energy are increasing.His lung function is "substantially" improving. (The most dramatic improvement his pulmonologist has ever seen!)What a beautiful and exciting thing to witness.We are profoundly grateful to God for this gift. And to the donor and his or her family, through whom the gift came.We are grateful, too, for all you have done and continue to do for us. We treasure every prayer, every card, every message, every meal, every picture, every gift. Thank you for lifting our spirits and for helping us carry our burden, both here in Dallas and at home. Seeing how much you care is truly humbling.As you remember Anthony, we ask that you continue to keep Jennings Neel in your prayers as well. Despite some miraculous improvements over the past few weeks, she remains hospitalized with some lingering issues after her critical case of H1N1. Please pray for her complete recovery.We have seen firsthand, God is able.
Written Feb 26, 2014 5:06pmThey need to invent a new word.A word which encapsulates each of the following emotions into one:"relief,""joy,""hope,""gratitude,"and "excitement."Oh, and did I mention "relief"?I could really use a word like that right now because...Anthony's biopsy came back as 1R!Excellent news!This is the second time he has been at 1R, and you may remember it is the mildest form of rejection, a type they do not treat. After having both 3R and 2R rejection in these few weeks since his transplant, this news is very, very good. In fact, some providers would say 1R is an excellent place to be--a sign the body is on alert, but not in attack mode. I love this way of thinking!So instead of packing a bag and heading to the hospital, we remain inside our cozy little apartment, maintaining our regular routine.Until, of course, we go through it all again two weeks from now.But that's for another day.Today, we celebrate.
Written Feb 25, 2014 2:56pmBiopsy #4.Although we won't get the report regarding rejection until sometime tomorrow, this morning's cath went well. All the information gathered today--heart and lung pressures, x-ray, echo, EKG, labs--showed what we hoped would be true: Anthony is doing well! They are even lowering doses of some of his meds. Always a good sign.We thank God for this wonderful news.And pray for more of the same tomorrow.